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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  December 28, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PST

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peter renee, tom, thank you very much for your insights. thank you for watching state of the union, i'm dana bash in washington we leave with you live pictures of indonesia airport where the airasia plane was supposed to have landed. good morning, everyone, i'm martin savidge, it's 10:00 and you are in the cnn newsroom and we begin with breaking news a search at sea, now suspended after a passenger jet carrying 162 people went missing in southeast asia. officials say large ships with powerful lights will continue to comb the waters for airasia 8
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flight. the airbus left at 5:30 eastern time last night bound for singapore. indonesia officials say about 45 minutes later, the captain asked to climb above 38,000 feet because of bad weather. minutes later, the plane disappeared from radar and airline officials say they lost contact at 7:24 eastern time. indonesian authorities say they monitored the jet for another half hour before losing contact. the flight was due to land at 8:30 eastern time last night. now families are desperate for any sign of what may have happened to this plane. the ntsb is now monitoring the situation. the saga is unfolding, of course less than 10 months after malaysia airlines flight 370 went missing en route from kuala kuala
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kuala kuala lumpur to beijing. let's go to andrew stevens, he is joining us he landed just a short time in surabaya that's where the missing jet took off from when i was heading to singapore. and now officials are hunkered down at the crisis center which is just outside of the main terminal. >> reporter: it's just about 11:00 in the evening here and it's just now wait and see, the founder of airasia, the man who put this together an enormously successful budget carrier back in 2001 has also just arrived here and he just in the last hour or so held a press conference he described personally that he is devastated as you can imagine by what has happened every employee of an airline's worst nightmare coming true.
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he says the priority very clearly for him and for the airline at the moment is to look after and to be with and to give information to when they get it to the families of the passengers and crew on board that flight. he's not speculating at all at the moment as to what may or may not have happened. he's asked a lot of questions about weather, about pilot experience, this is all in the realm of speculation, until the investigation gets under way they're obviously cooperating fully with that as you can imagine, the last 18 hours or so has been an absolute nightmare for the families of the passengers on board. listen to what one woman said, her husband was on board. >> my fiance and his family was on that plane and in the morning, we lost contact, but i didn't think of anything i didn't have any feeling at all.
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and when i was on my way to the airport, i listened to the local radio and they said that his plane was missing, that's all. it was supposed to be their last vacation before us got married, it was to be his last vacation with his family. >> reporter: martin the vast majority of the passengers on board, the 155 passengers were indonesian so this tonight is a country in shock as to what's happening, hoping for the best but obviously at this stage fearing for the worst. >> yeah. andrew what's being done both for the passengers and how frequently u now do we anticipate the airline to update us? >> well the airline has been very frequent in getting information out as to what they know. we knew about the communication from the pilots to the air
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traffic control, about wanting a change of course, quite quickly a manifest of the passengers names were posted quite quickly. what we assume has happened here what we're being told by local media, has happened here the families of the victims or the passengers and crew started assembling here at surabaya airport. they have now been taken to a hoe etel just a short way away where obviously airasia staff and trained staff to help deal with these sort of crises. we don't know yesterday what tony fernandez has managed to see those family members, he after the press conference he went back inside the building we understand that the passengers that may be some of the passenger's families still here when he went back inside but they have now been taken to a special area and if the information that's been coming out so far is anything to go by
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airasia is being very transparent as they can without getting into that realm of speculation. >> good to hear andrew stevens, thank you very much we'll be in close touch with you. joining me now on the pone is our aviation correspondent, a man we're all familiar with richard quest, richard, airasia officials say there's no -- what does that along with heavy thunderstorms suggest to you in these early times? >> reporter: what it suggests and we're in the realm of speculation to a certain extent clearly you have a weather related event, what that's because some of sort of updraft or some sort of weather that affects the aircraft and the pilots responded in a particular way, the plane is climbing it's climbing from 32,000 feet up to flight level 380.
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we believe it's climbing at 36,000 and there's a body of opinion now that the speed seems to be slow. in that environment, if you're talking to pilots they are saying that the airbus a 320 has a slow is climb at that particular height. it's not a heavy aircraft. it's got 160 passengers and crew on board. but it's a short flight from indonesia to singapore, even allowing for fuel. so this is going to be martin the focus of attention. but this is down the road. the first thing they've got to do is get the assets on the ground the planes the ships to find the wreckage and then of course course as we remember from 370, martin the search for the black boxes. >> let me ask you this, when we
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talk of airbus we think of airbus 447. we know it was an airbus 330, but could there be something similar? >> reporter: yes, of course. because you basically have two aircraft that with a very catastrophic incident at the safest point of the flight which is in flight. it is very unusual for things to happen other than that nefarious activity there's absolutely no question of that at to the moment. so you are looking at those situations where either something happens to the airplane or the aircraft or you're looking at how the plane was being flown. and, yes, 447 is a textbook example of the way in which an incident happened the pilots
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responded in a particular way, and there was a catastrophe. but we're a ways off from figuring out what this was. the encouraging points in the search part is that this is troubleded air space, they should be able to find the wreckage relatively quickly, once daylight arrives. >> richard quest, as always we appreciate the insights we too will be in touch with you. let's turn to meteorologist karen maginess she joins us from the cnn weather center. what kind of weather will the search and rescue teams be facing when they pick up the visual search tomorrow morning. >> we have seen a very persist persistent monsoon season here this is the monsoon season time but the enhanced monsoon over the last one to two weeks has
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been exceptional. we know this because in malaysia malaysia, we have seen picture after picture, report after report of the -- these supercells coming out of the itc trkst itcz the it's a very persistent feature, for months even into the beginning of the year. you have to remember surabaya, particularly is about 7 degrees south of the equator, that's just within the rel of that itcz. those thunderstorms start bubbling up you have warm moist air, and you have those thunderstorms between 35,000 and 38,000 feet. those pilots were flying at cruise altitude just about 32,000 feet. requested a divergence to 38,000
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feet. mostly that is for the convenience of the passengers so they're not bumping around so much. but also the diversion may have included some other reasons, also when you get up to those particular altitudes, martin we're looking at the potential for sheer, strong winds, also icing, which we haven't talked a lot about, but there are a lot of factors to consider here for the rescuers it looks like water temperature here is going to be about 86 degrees fahrenheit. >> karen maginess thank you for the update. right now rescue efforts are under way to try and reach passengers on a burning ferry, that is between greece and italy in the aiddriadic sea, it appears that the flames broke down below deck. this is a joint italian-greek
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we want to welcome our viewers from ashround the world, and we are following breaking news airasia flight missing. the plane's captain had more than 6,000 flight hours, the co-pilot a french national had more than 2,000 hours. officials say there was no distress call made to air traffic control before it went missing. let's bring in aviation consultant allister rosenshine.
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airasia is saying that storms prompted a change request by the pilot. so walk us through, what goes on in the cockpit when you encounter rough weather? >> well basically you're expecting it because you have checked the weather before you go you've got the plot of where the most likely areas are of thunderstorm activity and that's what we're talking about here. so then you're monitoring the radar, now on a modern aircraft the radar screen overlays your automatic navigation display, in other words your map, which is on a television screen a flat glass screen in front of you, so it allows you to see where the thunderstorms are in relation to your route, you then make a decision as to -- generally you want to pass upwind of a thunderstorm because otherwise you're going to pick up more turbulence than the other side of the storm, where the wind is
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blowing the turbulence towards you and hail if there's any hail. that's your prime ministerary decision, the secondary decision is what will there be after that the thunderstorm, are there any more? is there no alleyway through the storms and you have to go through one. you really learn this by experience and you depend largely on your colleague's expense, but this pilot should be well versed in the weather there. the pilot is a french pilot, and has over 2,000 hours, i'm not sure how much time he spent in that area. you generally try to avoid thunderstorms by going around them not by going over them. but that's not possible in the
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tropics. >> but the request was made to climb to a higher altitude what might that suggest? >> that could be because they wish to remain visual. you know it was daytime, and thunderstorms are often embedded in other clouds which makes it difficult to see them which means you're relying purely on your radar. pilots prefer to see the storms if you're in the daylight. and that mean you have to be above the general cloud layer, so you try and go up. but flying over the top of a thunderstorm is not a possibility in the tropics, because the storms are not as high as you, but they probably will be, because they're climbing vertically, and so is the airplane. so you try and go around it. so i assume they were probably trying to go over some localized clouds flying over the top of
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an actual thunderstorm cell. >> understood allister rosenshine we're going to stay in touch closely with you throughout the day. thank you very much. we will continue following breaking news the search for airasia flight 85 0e 1.
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we're following breaking news the search for an airasia jet 15 hours after a flight went missing in -- we will do whatever we can, unquote. let's bring in cnn's rosa flores she's monitoring the missing flight on -- >> there's a lot of pain right now on social media and in cyberspace with people from every corner of the world, putting themselves in the shoes of these family members, the family members are those 162 people thinking imagine being at the airport, you're waiting for your loved one and that loved one has not arrived yet, that's the situation that we're seeing right now, and of course officials going to social media to deliver certain messages to
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not only indonesia to offer help but also to disseminate information to family members. let me start with this, because this is very telling, this is from the facebook page from the prime minister of singapore, offering his support to indonesia. you can tell by this picture, that's the most telling, the photos on the left side of your screen those ships being called off for today. but it's very important to have these assets ready to go at daybreak. also tweeting this our thoughts and prayers of are with all those family and friends of airasia flight 8501. tony fernandez, he's monitoring all of this him saying i am touched by the massive show of support, especially from my
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fellow airlines this is my worst nightmare, but there is no stopping. and one other thing that's very telling is if you u look at the facebook page for airasia, it's in gray it's in black and white, that iconic symbol is chilling because their normal colors are red and white, now we ski black and white, we see gray we don't see a banner with that iconic airliner that would normally be there. so, again, a lot of pain on social media, marty, and officials going to twitter and going to facebook to offer their support. >> very interesting, rosa to see how this differs, u it seems greatly to how malaysia responded to flight 370. >> it definitely the is. i think we're seeing a lot of learned lessons and a lot of information being shared and a lot of countries coming forward very quickly and saying we are offering your support, here are our assets even posting on social media, pictures of those assets to make sure that the
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they know that they have the support that these individual countries can provide. >> it may look like a pr move, but it's also reassuring to a lot of people who want to know that help is on the way. rosa flores thank you very much. you're watching cnn's continuing coverage of airasia flight 8501. we're going to take a quick break, but we'll be right back. get ready for some german engineered holiday excitement. at the volkswagen sign-then-drive event. right now, for practically just your
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bottom of the hour right now, i'm martin savidge and we want to welcome our viewers from across the u.s. and around the world. we are following breaking news a search at sea has now been suspended after a passenger jet carrying 162 people went missing in southeast asia. officials say large ships with high powered lights will continue to comb the water off u asia but more intense efforts have now been paused until daylight reaches the area. the flight left at 5:30 eastern, at about 7:30 the captain asked to climb to about 38,000 feet because of bad weather, minutes later the plane van anyoneished are radar. airline officials say they lost
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contact with the jet but monitored the jet for another half hour before losing contact. families of course are desperate for any trace of this plane. no americans were reported to be on board, but the ntsb is now monitoring the situation. this saga is unfolding less than 10 months after malaysia airlines flight 370 went missing in route from kuala lumpur to beijing. of course there's still no trace of mh 370 or the 239 people on board. let's bring in cnn aviation analyst and former inspector general for the u.s. department of transportation mary sciavo. and a former faa safety inspector. mary we have reports that the
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pilots requested to climb to 38,000 feet because of bad weather, what does that tell you about the conditions this plane was flying in. >> because of their on board radar, most likely looking at the radar that's been put out since this flight it was just a red sea of thunderstorms, thunderstorms appearing red on the radar, so by can be to deviate around and then climb, it was clear that the plane was facing some pretty desperate weather and they were trying to get out of it. that will be part of the investigation, they will look at the pilot's response to that weather and many things could have happened during that climb including a pressure stall on the engine. >> no distress call? does that suggest anything? >> no i have worked a lot of accidents and many similar to what we have so far, now
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obviously we don't know, you know many detating but one to this point appeared similar, and in all of these cases, they didn't have time to get out a distress call. when they finally realized they were in a dire situation, they were fighting to save the plane and that's air transport 447, west caribbean airlines and several other crashes that have this sequence. by the time it came when they could have made the call it was really all hands on deck fighting to save the flight. >> any situation what we know if weather was a factor could there be something else suggested here that could have caused the plane to go down? >> martin it's too early to speculate on much. as mary said there's not a lot of information available yet, other than the weather information, however the aircraft does have a weather directive that was issued this month on the angle of attacks indicators it's not political
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to that particular serial number aircraft although it is to serial number aircraft on either side of it. so that's the only other thing as far as information that we have right now, the air speed indicators were different than what the other aircraft were in that area that may mean that a lot of different things could indicate that there was a headwind in that year or that it was in the middle of its climb. there are many factors and people are trying to fit those together. >> is it possible that the acar system that reports what the aircraft is doing, we know from the investigation of malaysia flight 370-- >> what we do know is that the adsb was continuing to transmit for 30 minutes after they lost
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contact. as mary said in an emergency situation you may not have time to make a distress call. however if that airplane continued the fly for 30 minutes. if there was communication with adsb that would have been able to be used as a distress signal itself. so i'm not sure that there's something else other than simply a catastrophic failure of some kind. >> in airbus 330, it too was flying in bad weather, whether it fell out of the sky? >> that's right, and on that one, of course we did have the information from the plane, the plane had the plane reporting system where the plane sends out messages and there are a lot of important clues there, and a few are similar here because in that plane, that crash, of course the pilots didn't respond to the clues that the aircraft was giving and they were given
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incorrect reads and they allowed the air speed to deteriorate, but the plane started to shut down systems on its own, the plane was trying to save itself and the airbus will do that, so it started to shut down nonessential information. so it gave investigators long before it went down that something was going wrong on the lane. radar and radio communications and the a -- certain is systems were spooling down or it might not suggest that at all or it might suggest we're getting the wrong information, but it does seem to indicate that they were certainly encountering some kind of distress on the flight and it simply did not fly off somewhere else. >> i have heard that the airbus is more a fly -- much more electronics and computer driven? >> it is the newer boeing
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aircraft are more fly by wire than the other ones had been. so that's right, the systems that mary was referring to are not flight critical systems, but u there are some communications that would have been on the primary bus that would not have been shut down. to my concern is the fact that that atsb continued to transmit. i have got some reliable sources that that did continue to transmit. so i see that there's some very concerning things about it. but the fly by wire means that it's all electronic controls most new aircraft are that way, even the boeings have gone to fry by wire, so other than the fact that there's a lot of computers working together and there's a lot of information, i really don't have a lot of clues from that particular piece.
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>> mary joining us now for more from washington is cnn's aviation correspondent renee marsh, you have been in touch with both the airbus and the ntsb any word on whether the ntsb will help in this investigation? >> at this point they are monitoring the situation, they are paying close attention to what's happening, but they say it's too early to say exactly what their role could be moving forward. and of course the wreckage has not been found at this point if there is any, so at this point, they're saying that they're keeping close tabs on this, we know they have been in touch with airbus they have been in touch with the french equivalent of the ntsb so the lines of communication, definitely open at this hour so still unclear what the role of the ntsb will be that being said it is safe to say that the french
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equivalent of the ntsb would have a more prominent role and that makes sense for a number of reasons, number one, this aircraft was manufactured by the french no u.s. citizens on board this plane at this point. we do know that the co-pilot is a french national so it makes sense that the french equivalent of ntsb would have the more prominent role once we move to the position of an investigation. >> all right, and erin let me ask you this any response from the white house about this crash? >> president obama was briefed last night when he was out to dinner, but we did just get in a comment from a senior state department official and i want to read that to you, the official says that the indonesians and the singaporeans are leading the search for the aircraft. the united states first has to be asked, martin torques to help out, and once they are, as the state department is saying they will likely offer financial
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assistance and as they mentioned, the ntsb will be involved in the search effort. but right now the president will continue to get briefed as a part of his daily intelligence briefings. >> and if the ntsb were requested to come in does the president have to sign off on it? or does the --- >> not on the ntsb's assistance but he would have to sign off on any sort of financial assistance that the state department would be involved in. >> renee, what if anything is airbus saying about their aircraft? >> we do no from airbus that they are fully ready to cooperate with the investigation. we know that this was a newer airplane. it was delivered in 2008, so it's a little bit over six years old, airbus telling us it had 28,000 flight hours on this particular aircraft so it is well traveled edso to speak, on that day, where this accident occurred tracking flight radar
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did make five other trips prior to this the incident and obviously made those trips without any issues. but this is the workhorse that you're looking at here. it is -- it has lots of wrecks we're talking about the a-320, according to airbus listen to this that every two seconds an a-320 either takes off or lands somewhere in the world every single day, so that gives you a little context on just how much this aircraft is used. as far as airbus is concerned, we have a statement coming to us this morning, it reads in part airbus regets torets to confirm that an airbus 320 lost contact with air traffic control. they go on to say airbus will provide full assistance to the
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french equivalent of the ntsb they go on to say their thoughts are with the families of those affected by flight 8501. martin? >> yeah there's no question it's a popular plane, not just in asia wherever you fly, you're likely to have been on an airbus a-320. we're following the breaking news this morning, airasia flight 8501 missing, losing contact while flying between indonesia and singapore. we'll be right back after the break.
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>> the search for missing airasia flight 8501 has been suspendeded until monday morning airmorning -- the passengers and crew fromo are from sticks different nations, one malaysia one from singapore, one from the uk and one person from france. joining me now on the telephone from the united kingdom is air traffic control expert phillip butterer worth hayes. phillip thank you for being there. there's concern about the passengers and finding the location of the aircraft. and i'm wondering, from the air traffic control perspective, is there information, even this the early on that might assist in
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those looking to find the plane? >> can you say that question again, please? >> of course phillip. i'm wondering, air traffic control was the last to be in communication with this aircraft and i'm wondering if air traffic control has assisted in the search to find the plane? >> absolutely the aircraft has been able to be surveyed at least on radar. and apparently fell off the radar screen very quickly so that will give the epicenter, or the point where they can start the search, unlike the malaysian aircraft we know where this plane went p down. >> the pilot requested to climb, as an air traffic controller and assuming it's weather related, what does that suggest? why climb?
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>> there was some heavy thunderstorms at the time stretched u up to 40,000 feet as i understand so you have a choice of going over it or going around it. and if you could see that by climbing over it you could reduce the turbulence then i think you request to climb to that 38,000 feet. so you would want to do that rather than fly through the cloud. >> once the aircraft was reported disappeared from radar, what is the protocol what happens, what does air traffic control do? >> well there is a search and rescue protocol every country has one, it involves the civilian military they draft the data which is recorded from the radar, that's passed along to the military who are in charge of an air traffic control kind of situation, because u you'll use military aircraft and
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full aircraft to look for any sign of the aircraft. there's also a regional -- and the australians will become very involved because they have a very capable military so they will be looking to australia for help. it will be coordinated by the military in indonesia. >> is and so as this information is being passed along, is there also additional attempts to try to communicate with the aircraft? >> absolutely is, this continues all the time. it's not just indonesia that's involved, because it was going to singapore, and singapore has a very large air traffic control center too, and they were trying to contact the aircraft as well so it will be a multinational effort. >> what about other aircraft whether they be enlisted to say,
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if you see anything can you call? >> absolutely. i think pilots when they're flying they've got a view in their cockpit of the other aircraft around them so they will be aware as well they will be asked to become involved. but probably not to the extent of actually to look for it but can you see anything on your radar screen is there anything you can help us with? a lot of things happen very very quickly and obviously there are drills that take place. but -- so is it gets a chance for everybody to become involved it hasn't happened in this case. >> what about an automatic distress call when an aircraft touches down and hits the water? >> that too will have -- we haven't heard from the authorities what has been act
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vatd but if it did go down in the water, it would be activated, but we wouldn't know that until some later stage. >> phillip butterworth, thanks very much. you're watching coverage the disappearance of airasia flight 850 8501. .
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italian firefighters are struggling to put out a fire on
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board a ferry boat. this is a joint italian-greek rescue operation at least 150 people have already been rescued. it's unclear what started the fire but it appears the fire started below deck that would be the garage area. for the second time in just a few months another passenger jet has disappeared. both in a very similar area malaysia airlines flight 370 disappeared in march, and now as asia air flight 8501. the search has been mostly halted for now, and i'm wonderering, first of all, are we losing valuable time here peter? >> i don't think you can say you're losing valuable time, you can't search for this aircraft in the middle of the night. but i would say investigators are trying to pick up up every possible piece of radar evidence, they're filtering
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through any firsthand eyewitness ed evidence they're trying to pin point where this plane could have gone down so when they have the aircraft and the vessels when they go out at dawn that they're headed in the right direction. so i would say the intensity of work has not slacked off even though the sin wentun went down. >> i'm like other people the moment you heard this you're like oh, my gosh because of the area where it occurred and it has not been a long period of time 15-plus hours no sign of this aircraft. similarities initially seem haunting. >> they are haunting. and the civil aviation community has not moved quickly enough on the tracking of open ocean aircraft. iko has looked at it they have
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made some recommendations, but nothing's been passed nothing's been implemented. and this is another wakeup call when you have an aircraft flying transoceanic flights, how do you track them on a more continue stand baysisbasis. >> initially it seems that weather was reported whether that truly was a factor we're still waiting to see. the difference between mh 370 and this. >> mh 370, there were mysterious things that have happened the turning off of the acar system the turning off of the transresponder the secret turn of the aircraft. in this case you had normal communications with the pilot, a line of weather that appeared to be pretty difficult, severe and he was asking to climb as high
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as he could to get out of it. it's a hint but it's nothing more than a hint. >> and this area too, we realize with mh-370 the area in which the aircraft was operating, seems to have a hit or miss coverage and i'm wondering if that could be playing into the search to find this airplane. >> the plane was tracked by a greater number of radar stations and it was in contact with the flight air controllers, so i think we're going to come morning, we're going to be able to dispatch the indonesians are going to be able to dispatch search and rescue teams to a much narrower area which is really just almost a tragic comedy of errors at the beginning. >> so if i hear you at the beginning, you expect we'll find the aircraft faster may not find out why, but we'll find it
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faster. >> i think we'll find it faster and the water is much less deep than where mh-370 probably went down. we'll be able to recover the datea recorder and the voice recorder. the malaysian air force will have to find the -- need to have those resources on their way today. >> any chance the aircraft could have put down safely in the water. >> there's always a chance as identified the temp of the ocean there is high it's certainly survivable u you're not dealing with hypothermia, but that's a real long shot. >> i know but any hope is worthwhile. our breaking news coveragen continues with reliable sources
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and it starts right now. welcome to our u viewers in the united states and around the world, i'm brian stelter, it's 11:00 a.m. in new york and 8:00 a.m. in indonesia. 155 passengers seven crewmembers, it was supposed to be a short hop, a two-hour flight to singapore, just like every other morning, every other day. but the airplane disappeared just a short time after -- hoping for any information, in the warm stormy waters of the java sea, they're searching for any sign of the aircraft the